Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of James Nayler > Give Ear you Gathered Churches
Was not there a plant planted amongst you once, a tender plant which had a little rooting in a tender ground, which began to appear out of the earth more in beauty than all the wild trees of the forest; it also did begin to blossom, and some tender grapes did appear, and the roots and branches began to spread, and to bend itself2 towards him that planted it, and made its appearance towards heaven, and there was great hopes of a blessing in it, and that it would have covered the earth with its comeliness that was beginning to be put upon it; insomuch as the oaks and cedars, and all the rest of the trees, the briars and brambles began to envy its appearance, and gathered in counsel against it, and3 great strength; but the maker thereof, seeing it bending to him, in that strait undertook to make room for it, cutting down some, and plucking up others by the roots, even of the tallest and strongest that withstood its spreading, until he left scarce a briar to hinder the fruitfulness thereof. Then he looked that it should arise, and spread, and bring forth fruits according to its own nature, tender and good; and this was that which bare the name of tender consciences, and indeed did so prevail in many, as nothing was to be compared with it, nor valued like it, whose fame was spread in the world.
But now stand still and behold what is become of this plant, and what the fruits is you bring forth, and how you are turned into a degenerate plant of yourselves, since the Lord took away kings, bishops, and all the whole body of opposition; compare <168> your spring and your harvest together, and see what was sown, and what is now to reap amongst you for God.
Come to your faith, and come to your fruits, and try if they be of that nature which was sown and planted, which is from above; or have they that life or power; or have they that heavenly image? Are you not conformed to this present world? And have you not that beastly mark of pride, of covetousness, of self-love, and all the4 works of the flesh? What testimony hold you forth openly5 this day from heaven against the wickedness that abounds in your streets, openly, as it abounds openly,6 that you may be known to be from above, and not of this world, to all that pass by; that they may believe who cannot receive a feigned profession without works of life, nor faith in words without fruits? By what will you be known not to be of the world, but to be on the Lamb's part this day of battle? and what marks of his do you bear in your flesh, by which his enemies may be judged in themselves, of all their ungodly ways and hard speeches, which a profession without life hath cast upon him these many years of days?7 By what are you manifest to everyone's conscience? And by what shall the ignorant8 say, "God is in you of a truth," and fall down before his righteous power? Have you his lively image upon you in truth and righteousness in the streets? Or can you say, indeed, the Lord your redeemer liveth and reigneth in you, in the face of your actions? Hath he redeemed you from all iniquity? or are you presented without spot? Or doth your faith say that ever you shall, while you live? Is not all hope decayed, and many of you gone back from what you once were, many degrees? Alas for you! is this the faith of God which with9 the flesh is10 overcome? Or are these the fruits of the heavenly plant? What is become of your Lord's money, and how is your gold become dross? Is there not a more precious witness trodden down under all this? & doth not the pearl lie covered under all this earth? Is there not a holy one of another nature? and feel you nothing moving to bring forth better fruits? I know there is a measure of11 <169> Christ in you; why is it you are so gone astray from his counsel, and erred in your hearts from his precious life? Why will you not hearken to that which once was drawing you out of the world, for which you did bear the cross and reproach thereof? Were not you once they that were called the spiritual men and women, and became a scorn because you professed the obedience to its moving? And what way did it then lead you, and into what was it turning you? Were you not then hated for this12 name's sake; and did not it lead you down into meekness and patient sufferings? And could you not then rejoice in that you were counted worthy to bear his reproach openly in hope of his appearance to plead your innocency? How did you then begin to preach and practice lowliness of mind; and pride began to become a shame, and covetousness abominable; and a spiritual man, who had a tender conscience, who could rather die than defile himself with vain customs, was not such a one a jewel in your eyes? and in his sufferings you could feelingly share. Did not that spirit lead you out of your old dark forms of worship which you received by tradition? and did not your light and life arise as you removed by following thereafter; and did you not leave them in darkness that came not out with you? and none was able to withstand that spirit by which you then spoke and walked whilst you were going that way; but your adversary was forced to betake himself to carnal weapons. And did not your God then save you by his Spirit, and by weak means scatter the mighty that he might make way for this plant to grow? But what way did you then take? let that of God in you be witness. Did you not soon grow into ease and carelessness, and so let the spirit of your old enemies overtake you, and many of those things by which your consciences was then oppressed, are you yielded to, and the worldly spirit you have suffered to beset you and enter you again, which hath turned your faces into the world's riches and glory, with which you are covered at this day, and soon left off to follow that spirit that led out of this; which the Lord seeing, was grieved. But for his name's sake, not willing his work should fall, did call another people to his light, and many from far whom you then <170> counted not a people, are come to the brightness of his rising, to follow his Spirit; and what is now become of the children of the kingdom? and what is the fruit of that vineyard? Are not you now the great opposers of that Spirit and of its13 light within? undervaluing it as though it were not worthy to be a leader, nor able to keep in the paths of safety. Ah foolish people, have you well requited your Redeemer? or did his leadings deserve this from you? While you followed him in spirit, the husband of your youth; what evil found you in his light while you hearkened to it? Compare your way then and your way now, and be witnesses against yourselves forever. What is this you have done? How is that Spirit become your enemy that then was your leader? Was he your enemy till you changed your way, and returned back into the love of the world, in which that14 Spirit could not follow15 you, nor own you, nor change with you? So him that doth not change, you have left; and testify against his light since you received the spirit of the world. So darkness now16 cannot comprehend the light, nor his own17 receive him. Who hath changed their God like you? The guide of your youth is now as an adversary in your way, testifying against you in your own hearts; so you would stop his way in the heart of others. If this be not so, let him be witness, whose Spirit condemns sin in the flesh, with all its motions, in everyone where his light is minded; which will truly let you see (as many as with faith and diligence hearken thereto) what way you are going, and what hath befallen you since you became resisters of that holy Spirit in its temple, and hath set up idols without you;18 and how the spirit of the world hath prevailed to cover you with his19 own vanities and fading glory, till you have nothing left to separate you from the world but a form, without the life of the saints.
And now you having suffered the plant of life to be covered with the earthly spirit, and having sold yourselves under the fleshly power for want of a steadfast and faithful watch in the Spirit of life, which did once redeem you in measure; now is the <171> same spirit coming over you in the powers of the world, ready to rise up against your form also (which is all you have left) under which you must either join or suffer. And when this comes upon you, to whom will you cry for help? or where will you leave your glory? or how will you do to save your sanctuary in which you trust? If you look to the god of this world, you may easily have his favor, but then you must take upon you his form, and then what must become of your own you have trusted in and so cried up for a sanctuary?
And if you cry to the Lord, will not his light in your consciences tell you, that he was once your redeemer, whilst you would own his Spirit in you for a leader, and that it was not he that sold you, but your iniquities, and choosing other gods, and letting in the world's idols into his temple, and denying him therein, that hath now overtaken you again; and will not the second evil be worse than the first? When every sacrifice comes to be salted with fire, then will you know what it is for the salt to lose its savor: then will such be seen to be blessed who have salt in themselves, and who have not turned their light into darkness nor denied the Lord that bought them; then woe to the vessel which is filled with that which will not abide the fire. And this day is near at hand to come upon him that believes, and him that believes not.
And at that day, that which you have been filling the vessel with will be a heavy burden, though pleasant in the heaping up, with which you have oppressed the just and darkened that holy light that should have shined in your hearts, which once was arising to have given you the knowledge of God in purity: which gives to see the odiousness of all iniquity, and a way out of it; which Spirit, had you retained (as God),20 you should not have slain the just, nor taken pleasure in unrighteousness, nor been filled with ungodliness, like the world, as at this day your works are found to be, nor opposers of the spiritual light that leads out of the world. For in the light, which now you oppose, dwells no wickedness, nor unrighteousness; no covetousness, fornication, malice, envy, deceit, hatred, pride, despite, lust, nor oppression, nor <172> fleshly pleasures inhabits in the light; but with21 it are judged and condemned, and cast out: for it is the house of God, who dwells in the light, which sees all these to be vile affections to which they are given up, who are children that disobey the light and deny it, and take pleasure in these deeds of darkness, on whom the wrath of God abides; on which works the fire will take hold, and whose end is to be burnt: which works you have seen to be evil with21 the light, while you were led by the Spirit, and did condemn them in others, and preach against them, and do the same things; and plead for them now in yourselves, and now having no excuse to cover you, you rage when you are told thereof in sound words. But your teachers you will hear, which are of your own, and one with you herein, who feed the ear but starves the soul.
And now when you hear of these things from such as love your souls, take heed to your spirits, that nothing arise as in the days of Cain: for the strong man hath had a time to fortify himself within you, and he will rage if his kingdom be entered. Wherefore hearken not to that which is above in the high mind, but return to that spirit which is lowly, and sink down into meekness, and take counsel at that spirit which receives truth in love and abides the search with patience; and in whom there is no guilt there will be no wrath, for we do not this to stir up the evil, but to overcome it with truth. And as many of you as upon true search are justified in the light of life, with such we rejoice and are one, and seek unity herein, in one testimony of life; and for such as have put on a fair covering, and a large garment above, but these evils are seen in the skirts of it; this is not to discover anything which true love can hide, but that such might see with that with21 which they are seen, and mourn in secret with those that mourn for you22 in secret, seeking the way to return. But for most part it is too plain a truth to need a secret search to be seen, for it's come into the streets, and in the places of your worships, and in your daily employment; it is found upon23 all these. So wickedness being come into the streets, truth may not creep into a corner to reprove it. Nay, it's high time to cry <173> aloud, not to spare the whore; for with an impudent face hath she backslidden from her youth, and hath decked herself with the attire of a harlot. Is not pride become a glory openly amongst you? and to deceive souls hath got the name of decency, and covered under the finest forms of religion, and the Scriptures of truth which forbids it wrested through your subtlety to plead for it against the light in your own consciences; and how can humility hold her peace thereat? How are our honorable men and women, who were once covered with grace, and lovely in the beauty of holiness and modesty, bedaubed with ribbons, lace, baubles, and foolish vanities not worth the naming, and too many to mention? and how can wisdom but utter her voice against such whoredoms, and call her children from the paths of the destroyer? And to that of God in you all we appear, what spirit that is which is offended therein; or can he that glories in such folly hear wisdom's voice? See what spirits you are of.
And if you be the churches of Christ, or if any of you be sensible of his suffering, who hath long suffered under all this filth, then strip yourselves thereof, and come forth to his help against this height of wickedness that is now grown24 to the full and hath fenced its way against all reproof and teaching, so that nothing is now left but the life to finish its testimony against it unto blood-suffering, which now is at the door. So if you25 be on the Lamb's part, who now hath a controversy with the whore, then come take his cross and follow him, and hold26 forth his contrary27 life a witness in your bodies against all this wickedness. If you be baptized into him, put him on, and if you have received him, walk in him openly: for his coming is not in the secret chambers, to witness against wickedness that's come forth in the open streets, nor in the desert to testify against his enemy that rules in the places of greatest concourse; but in streets and markets, temples and synagogues, where these whoredoms are acted, there he utters his voice and lays down his precious life for a witness28 against <174> them, as in the days of old in his saints, so now it is, glory to God forevermore, whose day is world without end, which whoever comes to must give up their bodies as a sacrifice, holy, and they only are acceptable at his coming and fit for his use, glory forever.
Wherefore be not so deceived, to think that long preaching and praying against these evils in your words, with the power thereof ruling in your hearts, captivated within, and covered therewith without, hath power to overcome this spiritual wickedness or make it ashamed in the streets, or drive it into a corner which you practice yourselves openly; for it's the life of Christ that's cross to all this, and the Lamb must take the victory. Therefore in the fear of God, turn to the Spirit from whence you are gone, that his light may give you the knowledge of God in your hearts, and what you have of his power to save you from this evil generation, by redeeming your minds out of these vanities, your hearts out of the world, and your bodies and estates to himself, as a sacrifice freely given up to bear his testimony in your bodies and in your estates, against the evil that now abounds, to the convincing of such as are out of the ways of God, by his walkings in you, by the steps of his Spirit which will shine forth as a light in your lives, if you become obedient thereto, forsaking your own ways to be led thereby. And let not your high thoughts deceive you, nor trust in lying words; for you are no further redeemed than you have this power given from above, and this treasure in the earthen vessel, which is29 life from the dead; this is the riches of his grace, which saves by faith, and the gift of God, glory and life eternal. And he that saith he is redeemed30 and yet is led captive in his mind into these evils and walks in them is a liar before the Son, and blasphemes the holy name of Christ, and causes it to be blasphemed through the world. But he that is baptized into Christ, and all this filth buried, and that life that delights in them mortified, and self31 covered with his lowly spirit, having received the gift of God and put him on, and walks in him, honors him, and him that sent him, and hath fellowship with the Father and the Son, led with32 the Spirit out of the world, through his sufferings, <175> his death and resurrection, and such only33 know the life of Christ and gift of God, to whom it is given not only to believe but to suffer for to spread his name and power, and to preach his truth and righteousness, and to hold forth his virtue, as it is in him, according to the measure of him received in spirit, not adding nor diminishing: and this is the true ministration of life and gospel-light, which calls to the simple with power, and which is manifest to that of God in every conscience, and that lively faith which is known by its works, which attains34 the glory of God for its witness. But a faith there is which to this life is reprobate, which stands not upon the foundation of righteousness, but stands in lying words without fruits of the Spirit to glorify God or evidence the substance in life, and whose conversation is not35 Christ, yesterday, today, and forever, but glories in swelling words and conceivings of what Christ was and will be—putting him afar off, but today hears not his voice nor bears his image; and these are they that glory in word but not in power, whose faith doth not overcome the world but gives way to the devil, always promising great things to come, but themselves servants to these corrupt things, and this is faith without works.
And with this net are many easily caught, who being convinced in their understanding of a form nearer the letter, and having got words suitable thereto, then are received church members, and presently having changed their opinion, become new believers and teachers of others, as though they had attained some great thing, not minding to prove their new faith with36 the light of life, and truly to try it, what life is in the new, more than in the old, by its powerful working in the vessel: whether it be that faith which purifies the heart and hands, which mystery stands not in feigned words, but in a pure conscience, purging the vessel, and fitting the temple of God for his coming by the Spirit of his Son, which faith opens as it cleanses, drinking in the new through the death of the old, by which the just lives, which gives the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus, not in vain words, and who are gathered into this faith37 are gathered <176> gathered with38 the living faith, which worketh and conforms to Christ within and without, to live his life and manifest his life to the world in their mortal bodies, and to bear his name and nature, his marks and sufferings in their conversation before his enemies, showing him to be the same today blessed forevermore, and such are baptized into his likeness in death and resurrection in a true measure.
But who are gathered with38 words without power, and a faith without this holy life, such may run a-heaps, swell high, and make many heads & horns, yet all make but one beast, and their several names serve but to make up his number, to which they must39 arise, all against the Lamb: but his life and power they cannot reach, neither can they read his name nor bear his mark, who are not redeemed from the earth, but the whore's heart and the beast's image is their mark, which now is come into the open view, and cannot be hid: that being the whorish heart which loves the things of this world; and that's the beast which bears her, whose life is in them and lusts after them, striving and fighting for them, and whose glory stands therein, and to be covered therewith, so that you need not dive so deep with your dark wisdom to find whose you are, for the light is come which gives the knowledge of God, and who are his temples, and in whom he walks, and in the face of Jesus this is known in every conversation,40 which light God hath shined in the heart for that purpose. And the power of the beast is seen with38 the light in all consciences, his image and mark shining41 out of his temple, wherein his seat and kingdom is; so that he that runs may read each head and their mark, and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts, and have put on Christ and walk in him, and his face is seen, and in such only are the fruits of the Spirit manifest; and they that have denied the Spirit, its light and leadings, are enemies to its life, and in such the fruits of the flesh are manifest and can be no longer hid. And all you who have followed your own spirits and denied the light of Christ, with38 the light in every conscience are you made manifest, not to <177> be spiritual men and women; which light judges pride, covetousness, deceitful dealing, and all your wanton pleasures and vain customs42 to be works of the flesh; so the light denies you, and therefore43 you deny it before men, and those44 are found amongst your churches; and the light hath laid you so naked that the blind45 world sees you, and have power over your holy things, to trample them under feet, saying, "What is their profession worth? they are as proud and covetous, &c., as we are, and can lie and dissemble as others, and we will nevermore trust them for their professions." Thus is your ordinances46 covered with reproach, because you have denied the Spirit, and have covered yourselves with that which spiritual men count dross and dung, and you are not found47 tender consciences. And to that of God in your consciences are we manifest, that this is truth; and to God Almighty, that this is not to upbraid anyone, or to glory in wickedness, but in love48 to the Spirit of God, who hath quickened us out of these things, and49 to your souls, which are wounded and slain thereby, and to warn you of what we see coming on, having felt the terror of the Almighty against the way you have chosen, who could rejoice to meet you in your return, and desires to separate from none of you but in your sin, and that which devours the creation to feed the lust, which is separated from God forever, and you as long as to it you join, whatever you profess. And this is to call to you all to return to the Lord, who is that Spirit, and that life wherein all must worship that would be received of the Father; for God will confound Babel, and all that give glory to images, and all that confess a likeness instead of life; and that you might all see that this is coming upon you, who cry the ordinances of God in words with your lips, but deny his light in your hearts, and his Spirit and word there, which is the great ordinance of God written with the finger of God before the letter was,50 and endures to all generations, <178> and that by which all outward shadows were given forth, which changes51 shadows: and it is the substance and body, which is Christ within, the hope of glory, and worship in Spirit, and the truth in heart, which changes not, which God looks at, and seeks such this day to worship him, and gives them power over the world, who confess to the Spirit and life within, and worships God in his temple made without hands, wherein he is lifted up in truth and righteousness, light and true judgment this day in your streets against the horn of wickedness, where he is confessed in life and power, and glory is given to the Spirit alone, and he owns it, and receives it, and bears witness to it with his presence, with his sufferings, and with his blood, and is daily clothing such vessels with the Son, whom he brings forth in the everlasting arm and life; and this is the birth he loves, and the child of his own bosom begotten again, which bears his image lively against all the world, though it be but never so little, that dare not disobey what he leads to in spirit, to conform to the will of man, though to save their lives or liberties, but daily cast up52 all as dung that they may win Christ, this Spirit and life, to lead and redeem them out of the dark world, which nothing else can do but this Spirit; and this is the Immanuel, and the man-child that was, and is, and is to come, world without end. And since the Father saw him appear upon earth in this image, he hath loved him and owned him, though his appearance be as a lily amongst the thorns, and many tall trees which have great names would stop his appearance, that he might not be seen, nor confession made to his light and rising in this lowly stature, yet is the Father daily making his way before him, cutting down many high grown plants, who53 are not of this lowly nature, and many fall on each hand; some into the earth are sunk and buried, some into the Red Sea raging, into blood and persecution, and all to make way for the Lamb to be seen and known by his life to be he that was to come, for whose sake God is selling Egypt, and spoiling them of their jewels, and confounding of Babel, whose lives and language are now seen to be contrary. And thus is he drying up <179> the sea, that kings may come and worship in Spirit, and they that overcome the world may confess thereto, and that he may recover his glory to himself in Spirit, which men have given to visible things and shadows that can neither see nor save, and where the pearl is lost, God loves not for your sacrifice.
And this is written to you all, that you may see what hath covered you since you have erred in spirit, denied the light, and have walked in the wind, and have exalted great forms and outward things above the Spirit; so with outward earthly things are you covered, and not with the Spirit, and as you have delighted to spend your strength and study to set up the letter above the light, and your carnal ordinances to be the salvation, and so have not given glory to the Spirit, but have given glory to that which is not God, to oppose the light and Spirit of God, and his living word in the heart, which only hath power to save, and enlighten the heart against the powers of the prince of this world. So with54 the light you may see what power now rules in your hearts, and with what glory you are covered, and that which you have been contending for with others, against the Spirit, hath not given you power to contend against the world and overcome, but you may feel yourselves captivated to that which some of you (who are not yet hardened) would not: others are come so as to glory in their shame, in open pride and vanity and fleshly pleasures; and with the same mouth they plead for the idol, with the same they plead for his fruits.
And so you may all read your judgment with the light of the world, which condemns the works of the world, yours and theirs, and that you are all come short of the glory of God and are turning back to the glory of this world, and joined to it in pleadings and practice, and so manifest to all men that you are not found worthy to declare him to this generation, he not being the end of your conversation, Christ Jesus the Savior of the world; but the hope that was awakened in you, when you at first received the earnest of his Spirit, is withered and dead, and now you have your conversation in the earth, and your names being written there, you have put the day of his coming afar off, and <180> are joined with the world to withstand his appearance in the poor that now God hath called to confess his light and preach his resurrection and life in Spirit, and this you and the world would quench, wherever it begins but to sparkle, telling them it's not sufficient, &c., to draw their minds out from it, and keep them in some outward observations—lo here, lo there—lest the light should arise and condemn your fruitless observations; which light saith, "The kingdom of God is within you." And thus you quench the Spirit in many, and having lost the key yourselves you suffer not others to enter that would. And all you do for these when they deny the light, and come to you, is, you learn them to paint the sepulcher, but the soul in the grave; and so the Spirit being denied, the flesh prevails within and without. And seeing you have refused to judge yourselves with the light, therefore are you laid open, and your lives with the world to be condemned; and the light, which you say to the world is not sufficient, arises in the hearts of the world to condemn your practices.
In true love to your souls, from some of those called
Quakers, as it was laid before us55
Friends, you that have yet a feeling of that which pants after God & waits for the kingdom of heaven, & where that principle is not yet buried which first turned your minds out of the world, with the same now mind what way you are going, and what is the end you aim at, and in what will you take up your rest, that you may be eternally happy; will a settled form of truth without the power of righteousness and presence of God in you satisfy your longing souls? Was not this the thing that was awakened in many of you at first and strongly breathed towards his appearance, so that nothing would satisfy but a feeling of that Spirit working obedience and tenderness, and speaking peace in you for all your former failings and comings short of obedience, and how many honest and just ways did this Spirit lead you into which you had not from man, and in your obedience thereto opened to you of the Father's bosom-love melting your hearts, <181> and opened the Scriptures and of the secrets of God which you had never known of man nor by man? And thus while you were tender in following the Lord in Spirit, he led you therein & fed you therewith, and whatever you did in singleness of obedience thereto, he answered with peace and joy therein, and this that same56 witness of God which in some of you remains (a measure)57 yet not wholly dead,58 will witness too with us in secret; and yet till this day if you have any obedience that God owns or answers, it is in that principle. And now will it satisfy you to sit down in a form at ease? and this oppressed in you and grieved by setting carnal things above it, to lead you and rule in your hearts, till it be weary with striving, and now is departing out of all your forms, and you have lost its leading, and do not you feel this in your souls? Is there never a secret lamentation in you to seek after him who was the husband of your youth and led you at the first? This is all our souls longs to see at present, that you would but diligently mind how you are parted from him, and what is the cause, and where he now appears that you might follow him, that he might lead you into life. We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus that Spirit whose appearance in spirit changes shadows, forms and likenesses, and carnal ordinances, and makes all things new at his coming, which with the flesh is defiled. And though we would not have you to leave anything in which you have formerly found anything of God, till he lead you out of it, yet we would have you not to forsake him who led you therein, and therein was found of you, but him to follow wherever he goes. Will your carnal things be any more to you than the temple, and circumcision, and the Jewish priesthood, when God had left it for the wickedness that was covered therewith? What then became of them that stayed therein, crying "the temple of the Lord"? did they not then trust in lying words? and was it aught but a den of murderers? strengthening themselves with the notion of God's ordinances against the life of Christ, who came in another appearance, though they knew it not then no more than you do now.<182>
Therefore take heed what you do at this day, when all are looking for the kingdom of heaven, some one way, some another; but most sees that righteousness is departed from amongst men of all forms and professions, and the earth is got into men's hearts and hath filled them with violence, pride, and oppression. Now your work should be, and all that loves his appearance, to watch diligently (not lo here, lo there, but) where righteousness arises as the lightning. In what form soever he comes, righteousness is the life and power; and now take heed how you set up your form to oppose this, wherever it begins in the least to arise, lest you oppose God; for God's kingdom consists in righteousness, and through righteousness doth grace reign. And this we further say to you in tenderness & true love: that if you once see that power of righteousness arise in any sort of people whatsoever above you, which with59 the light of the world in your own conscience condemns your conversation, take heed how you then oppose it, or stay in your forms which hath it not in them, from joining to it, lest your temple become a habitation of murderers as theirs was, for so will it befall such as will not follow the Lamb, wherever he goeth: they must60 war against him, for as he departs he will draw away that of his own from all that will not come with it, to him, wherever he sets up his sign,61 and then your ordinances being left empty of that Spirit, what must enter instead is easily to be discerned; and as you feel a spirit of strife and envy, lust and earthly-mindedness, and of all the works of the flesh, begin more and more to prevail in you and over you, then remember what we in love to your souls have warned you of, which we dearly desire may never come upon you to the full, but that that eye may be minded in you, which would lead you out of the world, to see the rising of the Son of righteousness, where the honest in heart shall meet in Spirit, and find healing.
1. Publisher not known. Wing catalogue dates it to 1659.
2. Whitehead omits "itself."
3. W. changes "and" to "in."
4. Whitehead changes "all the" to "other."
5. Whitehead omits "openly."
6. Whitehead omits "as it abounds openly."
7. Whitehead omits "of days."
8. W. changes "ignorant" to "unbeliever."
9. W. changes "with" to "by."
10. Whitehead inserts "thus."
11. Whitehead inserts "the grace of."
12. W. changes "this" to "his."
13. Whitehead changes "its" to "the."
14. Whitehad changes "that" to "his."
15. W. changes "follow" to "join with."
16. Whitehead omits "now."
17. W. changes "his own" to "such."
18. Whitehead omits "without you."
19. Whitehead changes "his" to "its."
20. Whitehead omits "(as God)."
21. Whitehead changes "with" to "by."
22. W. changes "you" to "them."
23. Whitehead changes "upon" to "in."
24. Whitehead changes "grown" to "growing."
25. Whitehead changes "So if you" to "Wherefore if any of you."
26. Whitehead changes "hold" to "show."
27. Whitehead omits "contrary."
28. Whitehead changes "lays down his precious life for a witness" to "by his precious life witnesses."
29. Whitehead changes "is" to "gives."
30. W. inserts "or set free."
31. Whitehead omits "self."
32. W. changes "with" to "by."
33. W. omits "only."
34. W. changes "attains" to "contains."
35. W. inserts "in."
36. Whitehead changes "with" to "by."
37. W. changes "this faith" to "it."
38. Whitehead changes "with" to "by."
39. Whitehead changes "must" to "do."
40. Whitehead inserts "by."
41. Whitehead changes "shining" to "appearing."
42. W. inserts "and shows them."
43. W. omits "therefore."
44. W. changes "those" to "these."
45. W. omits "blind."
46. W. changes "ordinances" to "profession."
47. W. inserts "of."
48. W. changes "love" to "obedience."
49. W. inserts "in love."
50. W. omits "written with the finger of God before the letter was."
51. Whitehead changes "changes" to "endeth."
52. W. changes "up" to "off."
53. Whitehead changes "who" to "which."
54. Whitehead changes "with" to "by."
55. W. omits this italicized signature.
56. Whitehead changes "that same" to "the."
57. W. omits "(a measure)."
58. Whitehead changes "dead" to "slain."
59. Whitehead changes "with" to "by."
60. Whitehead omits "must."
61. Whitehead changes "sign" to "ensign."
62. Whitehead replaces "THE END" with the signature "J.N."